BIRAC-Social Alpha Quest for Assistive Technologies

Supported by Mphasis

Do you have innovative solutions that can make India more inclusive for all?

The World Bank estimates that there are anywhere between 40 to 80 million Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) in India—i.e. one in twelve households has a family member with a disability. However, due to low literacy levels, social stigma and lack of opportunities, PwDs remain the most excluded members of Indian society. Additionally, India lacks a vibrant market of assistive technologies (AT) and inclusive solutions that cater to, and empower PwDs.

It is our mission to improve the availability, accessibility and affordability of innovative assistive technology solutions to enable a better quality of life for millions of PwDs in India.

The BIRAC-Social Alpha Quest for Assistive Technologies, supported by Mphasis is a search for the top 10 innovative and entrepreneurial teams in the country that have developed market-ready assistive technologies and inclusive solutions.

Assistive Technology in India
Key Challenges in the AT Ecosystem


  1. Current market is represented by a small segment of users, restricted to urban hubs
  2. Poor data on PwDs makes it difficult to develop sustainable sales channels
  3. Segmented market makes it difficult to collect user feedback
  4. Limited ways to broadcast information about the solution


Poor Demand
  1. End users are not able to afford the existing products in the market
  2. Lack of data on consumer needs and expectations results in poor market fit and poor quality products
  3. Lack of accessibility and knowledge about the solutions


Broken Supply
  1. Cottage industry – Products are not designed for manufacturing and the ecosystem has limited manufacturing partners
  2. Limited sales and distribution partners lead to difficulty in creating physical linkages and providing after sales services
  3. Low funds in the ecosystem, which attract less number of innovators, institutes and VCs
Our Approach
4 Pillars of Market Access for
AT Solution Providers
Market Discovery
  • Establishment of product-market fit, and determination of the target customer, market size, and key geographies
  • Identification and testing the affordability thresholds vis-à-vis value proposition
  • Exploration and enablement of appropriate subsidies
Cost and Quality Optimization
  • Optimization for Design for Manufacturing and supply chain /procurement
  • Refinement of software and hardware to optimise the efficiency and effectiveness of the product
  • Certifications and reengineering tools to improve adoption
GTM readiness
  • Development of marketing, branding and communication strategy
  • Building distribution channels and developing sales plans
  • Provision of omnichannel retail as well as assisted consultative sales support
  • Community building and user-trainings with a strong pre- and post-sales service model
Stakeholder Validation
  • Partnership with specialty Hospitals/Clinics for trials/validation pilots
  • Adoption of products with NGO and Distribution partners
  • Boosting investment in the ecosystem through Investors, Corporates, foundations and Financial Institutions partners
Program Offerings
Up to 10 winners to receive
Social Alpha Accelerator for Inclusive Solutions

A three month accelerator designed by business and sector experts, to fast-track the market access journey of a startup

Up to INR 20 Lakhs for implementation of Work Order

An initial support of up to INR 10 lakhs and follow-on support of INR 10 Lakhs on meeting certain criteria

Need-based clinical validation, engineering, manufacturing, and licensing support of up to INR 30 lakhs

Support worth up to INR 10 Lakhs for Design and Manufacturing optimisation, and up to INR 20 Lakhs for Clinical Validation subject to due-diligence

Delivery channel identification and implementation of distribution strategies

Customised support will be provided for the development of product delivery channels for each start-up

Advisory support from 3 institutes with complementary expertise

The partners will cover aspects of business and strategy, implementation and user-base understanding, and funding respectively

Marketing Support and Community Building

Strategic marketing support through the online and offline partners, as well as access to multiple sector-specific events

Follow-on funding opportunity up to INR 50 Lakhs

Long term business incubation support from the Social Alpha ecosystem, including seed capital investment programs, subject to due-diligence

Access  to Open Innovation platform

The platform is an online enabling ecosystem of innovators, funders, technical experts and other stakeholders across the supply chain.

Who can Apply?
  • BIRAC-Social Alpha Quest for Assistive Technologies, supported by Mphasis, is a search for start-ups, social enterprises, or non-profits who have created innovative products, equipment, or systems that enhance the learning, working and daily living for persons-with-disabilities.
  • Individual innovators are also eligible to apply for the program. As the Quest is looking for innovators to work on establishing marketing channels for existing products, and not research and product development, only those with developed ideas and/or prototypes should apply.
  • A company which has applied has to be owned by resident Indian citizen i.e. at least 51% of capital in the company is owned beneficially by resident Indian citizen or by Indian companies eventually controlled & owned by a resident Indian citizen.
  • Jun 27, 2019

    Program Launch

  • Aug 15, 2019

    Application Deadline

  • Oct 15, 2019

    Technical Jury Round Reference Checks

  • Nov 2019 – Feb 2020

    Accelerator for Inclusive Solutions

  • Dec 2019 – Mar 2020

    Disbursement for work order grants

  • Post Feb 2020

    Follow-on Funding and Investment Opportunity

Frequently Asked Questions

The ‘BIRAC- Social Alpha Quest for Assistive Technologies– supported by Mphasis’ is a search for start-ups, social enterprises, or non-profits who have created innovative products, equipment, or systems that enhance the learning, working and daily living for persons-with-disabilities.

To know more about the Quest, we request you to go through our frequently-asked-questions (FAQs) section:

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Corporate Sponsor
Implementation and Incubation Partners
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